Diversity And Health Practices

457 words, 2 pages

Intro Sample...


As products of Western society, many professionals unconsciously assume that individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds will exchange their traditional healing practices for the scientifically-based, “progressive” practices of Western biomedicine upon immigrating to the United States. However, health-care professionals have discovered that it is a mistake to presume that culturally diverse individuals will reject the traditional health practices and ceremonies that they have engaged in for centuries (Helsel, Mochel, & Bauer, 2004). Case in point is the large population of Hmong immigrants who have formed communities in Central California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Michigan. Studies conducted in the 1970s confirmed that the Hmong were more likely to use shamanism, herbal medicine, or talismans than biomedical health care. In fact, many Hmong only used biomedicine as a last resort. More recent studies indicate that even as the community has begun to seek the care of biomedical health care providers, many traditional healthcare beliefs and practices persist among the community. This has result in numerous misunderstandings and cultural clashes between health care providers and Hmong patients, some of them tragic (Helsel, Mochel, & Bauer, 2004).

In recent years, there has been a national movement to consider patients’ cultural beliefs and values when deciding their medical treatment. Health care providers who cater to the Hmong community have begun implementing innovative strategies to bridge the cultural gap and heal the rift between the medical community and their Hmong patients. To understand the unique challenges inherent in providing service to Hmong individuals, it is important to be familiar with bo...

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Helsel, D. G., Mochel, M., & Bauer, R. (2004). Shamans in a Hmong American Community. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 10(6), 933-938.
Helsel, D., Mochel, M., & Bauer, R. (2005). Chron View More »

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